Brandon Wade/Special Contributor FILE – Runners pass the 15 mile marker heading north along the western banks of White Rock Lake before turning back south during the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, December 14, 2014. (Brandon Wade)
The 2017 BMW Dallas Marathon is returning to its White Rock Lake roots.
The Dec. 10 marathon, half marathon and SMU Cox School of Business Relays will start and finish at Dallas City Hall. Sunday’s full marathon will circle White Rock Lake in its entirety. Organizers released the new full and half marathon courses this week.
"Anyone who has run the race in the past decade will recognize the majority of this course," marathon executive director Marcus Grunewald said. "It pulls together the best parts of old races."
In addition, Saturday’s Coors Light 5K & 10K races will use the Dallas City Hall start-finish and postrace footprint. The 5K/10K courses will be released in the coming weeks.
Marathon officials sought to eliminate the solitary, 21/2-mile uphill along the Santa Fe Trail, which was considered the marathon’s weakest section, according to formal and informal runner surveys conducted by race officials. The goal, said marathon president Paul Lambert, is to enhance the runner, spectator and volunteer experience.
Race officials also wanted to return the start-finish to Dallas City Hall, where the race began and ended for 18 years. Tal Morrison started the marathon, then known as the White Rock Marathon, in 1971 at the lake. It remained there until the start-finish moved to Dallas City Hall in 1983.
In 2001, race officials relocated the start-finish to newly completed American Airlines Center. After 2009, the start-finish relocated to Fair Park (2010-2011) and a variety of other downtown locations including most recently in front of the Aloft Hotel.
The last couple of years, the postrace party has been a few blocks away from the finish line, creating a long walk-off for participants and a disconnect between the two, Lambert said.
"The Dallas City Hall property gives us the opportunity to create a much better atmosphere where everyone can see the finish line and still partake in the postrace party," Lambert said. "It’s all right there."
The new marathon and half courses begin on Young Street and head west, giving runners a gentle downhill to start their endurance journeys. The routes pass numerous local landmarks including City Hall, Dealey Plaza, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, American Airlines Center, Uptown, Turtle Creek, Highland Park, White Rock Lake and Deep Ellum.
At Riverfront, runners will head north to Continental Avenue then make their way east and north to Cedar Springs Road and Turtle Creek Boulevard, where the new course picks up much of the previous route through Highland Park and past the Granada Theatre on Greenville Avenue.
The full and half runners will then take Richmond Avenue, another road used in past course iterations. The full marathoners will continue east toward White Rock Lake. They’ll head north on the west side of the lake, around the north end and follow the lake south along the east side before heading west back to Richmond.
Upon their return, the full marathoners will rejoin the half marathoners, heading south on Skillman Street to Swiss Avenue. The runners will make their way back to Dallas City Hall by way of the more scenic Main Street through Deep Ellum to Canton Street and Young.
From 2014-2016, the marathon utilized only the west side of the lake because the lake’s east side lacked spectator support. Lambert said his team plans to create two or three cheer zones on the east side to help alleviate that issue.
"We are looking at how to add more entertainment features on the course and how to develop three or four "wow" moments," he said.
Local triathletes shine at USA Triathlon Nationals: Plano’s Kearci Jobe Smith was the national runner-up and the women’s 25-to-29 age group champion at Sunday’s USA Triathlon Age Group Sprint National Championships in Omaha, Neb. In Saturday’s long course national championships, Smith finished fourth in her age group. … Fort Worth’s Allison and Brian Miller also raced in Omaha. Brian, 45, finished seventh in his age group at Saturday’s Olympic distance race. Allison, 38, finished fourth in her age group in Sunday’s Sprint race and 11th in Saturday’s Olympic distance event.
Briefly: Irving’s Max Sui, 64, won the long jump and triple jump at the North, Central American and Caribbean World Masters Athletic Championships in Toronto last weekend. He also placed second in the 100-meter hurdles. … Colleyville’s William Huffman placed 34th overall among the men’s pros in the Yucatan International Triathlon Union triathlon World Cup in 58:27. Huffman, one of the first athletes out of the water, is making a comeback after being sidelined with injuries.
For more running news, check out: sportsday.dallasnews.com/tag/running.
Brooke Hester Hustle VII, Kennedale Town Center, 405 Municipal Drive, Kennedale, mile 8 a.m., 5K 8:30 a.m., mile 10-and-under free, 11-15 $15, 16 and over $20, 5K timed $22 through today, $25 race day, Brookehesterhustle.org.
Melon Dash 5K/Fun Run, Towne Lake Park Recreational Area, 1405 Wilson Creek Parkway, McKinney, 7:45 a.m., 5K Run/walk $40, Fun Run $25, runproject.org.
United Way Hustle for Heath 5K/10K/Fun Run, Sherman Municipal Lawn, 405 N. Rusk St., Sherman, 8 a.m., Mini K $10, 5K $30, 10K $40, chip2chipracetiming.com.
Carrollton Runners Club Prediction 5K, Josey Ranch Athletic Complex, 1440 Keller Springs Road, Carrollton, 7:30 a.m., preregistered online $2, others $3, carrolltonrunners.com.
Old College Tri (250-yard pool swim/12-mile bike ride/3-mile run), Denton Aquatic Center,2400 Long Road, Denton, 7 a.m.,individual $93, team challenge $189, dallasathletesracing.com, then search races. (USA Triathlon membership required. Adults: $15 1-day pass or $50 annual membership; Youth $10 annual pass.)
Five55 Series 5K, Meadowmere Park, Lake Grapevine, 3000 Meadowmere Lane, Grapevine, 6:30 p.m., short course $30, long course $40, 5K Run Series $15 per event, five55series.com.
WEDNESDAYS THROUGH AUG. 30
Jogger 5K Summer Series, Bachman Lake, Northwest Highway at Lakefield Boulevard, 7 p.m., free (participants need to sign in and get a bib), jogger.me.pn.